they came, they dug, they planted

On Friday, a crew from Almstead came by to grind out the stump of the massacred maple tree and plant another one and put in privets to replace the ones killed during the tree murder. In about three or four years, the privets (if they live) will be tall enough to block the street noise from the second floor, where our bedroom is (maybe they’ll be tall enough in two years to block noise from the first floor). In about 20 years, if it lives, the maple they planted might be tall enough to provide a meaningful replacement.

The city of Norwalk's idea of restitution, September 19 2008
The view from our side—that tiny trunk in the middle is the replacement tree. Contrast that with the maple trunk to the right in the picture, which is about the same size as the tree the city destroyed. You can see why we’re unhappy. (click to enlarge)

I’ll post more photos tomorrow some time, but it’s not a very pretty tree, at least not yet, crappy looking small leaves. It’s a red maple to replace a magnificent silver maple. And they ruined some of the stone wall to put the tree in. And left a nasty mess still—left over from the initial disaster—it’s not their job to clean up the mess (the crew that took the tree down is supposed to clean it up). Wanna bet it’s still there next spring? And we’re supposed to water the whole thing every other day for the next two months.

And do we feel “made whole” again? Hell no—we’ll be hearing and seeing the traffic for at least three more years, and we still want to weep when we see the replacement maple. Plus it takes a lot of time and effort to keep them watered as we’ve been told to do—a lot of maintenance where zero maintenance was required before. We’re still waiting to hear what the insurance adjuster has to say—I will be contacting the agency, or rather the claim administrator (Connecticut Interlock Risk Management Agency) myself if I don’t hear from them by Tuesday.

Stanley did trim back the hedge that was encroaching the sidewalk, even spading out the 20 years’ worth of dirt that had accumulated under the hedge (that nobody ever asked him to trim back until last week).

I started gathering them up and getting them ready for posting, which I will do tomorrow. But here are two that I wanted to get up right away because I just love them:

Jim and Alice Fleming at Three Mile Beach, Oscoda, Michigan, September 9, 2008
Here is a distance shot of Mom and Dad sitting on the bench on the boardwalk at Three Mile Beach in Oscoda, Michigan, on September 9, 2008. (click to enlarge)

Bingo taking a nap, early September 2008, by Lee Fleming Thompson
No creature is quite as relaxed as a puppy with her belly full. This is Bingo taking a snooze on the couch in Oscoda, at about seven weeks old. (click to enlarge)

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